YouCanBookMe review: To tell it sweet and short
Youcanbookme is a simple tool for scheduling meetings and appointments. We enjoyed the onboarding and the clutter-free UI. The menu on the left hand pane makes it easy to navigate the product.
The starting point in YCBM is the booking page. You have to associate your calendar account with the booking page. This calendar account is the center of Youcanbookme’s scheduling system. You set up the availability on this calendar. Team members have to share their calendars with this master calendar. YCBM reads the pooled availability on this master calendar and displays it on the booking page. They support: Google, Microsoft, Fruux, CalDav calendars.
YouCanBookMe appears to be genuine and honest from their UI messages. A few examples:
- They warn you when you pay more unintentionally.
- Clarifying that the password protection on the booking page is not a secure portal.
- Tips to minimize the connected calendars and reduce the subscription cost .
YouCanBookMe costs $9 per linked calendar which is close to the benchmark starting price for appointment scheduling apps. Calendly’s premium plan is priced at $12, and basic plan at $8. YCBM doesn’t have a the advantage of price here. However, YouCanBookMe offers discounts for educational institutions, their primary target audience.
YouCanBookMe review: Who will find YCBM limiting?
YouCanBookMe customers have to depend on an external calendar like Google or Microsoft to set up their availability. Customers have to be an expert in the calendar tool as well as YCBM to get the availability right. YCBM lags behind the competition in contextual app integrations. Sales teams will find it limiting that YouCanBookMe doesn’t have a built-in CRM integration. Salon businesses will miss integrations with email marketing, CRM, and inventory apps. If customers need to integrate with another app, they have to use the Zapier integration or use APIs and webhooks.
YouCanBookMe review: Who will find YCBM useful?
If you are using a calendaring tool now to manage your schedule and want to make it customer facing, YouCanBookMe is a good place to start. The product is super-friendly, the team appears supportive and they have all the basics. Also, if you are from Europe and have to comply with local laws about data centers, YouCanBookMe is good. Being from the UK, they are likely to adapt to European laws more than US companies.
What is their business model?
YouCanBookMe has grown through the education sector. They are helped by referrals. YCBM does digital marketing to acquire new users.
Viability of the company
This is a privately owned company. They have been operating since 2008. They will survive longer than newer companies with fancy websites and UI.The product is primarily used by the education sector based on online reviews.
How do they fare on the basic features of a scheduler?
- Calendar sync: They integrate with Google, Microsoft, Fruuz, and CalDav calendars. There are two ways of connecting a Calendar to YouCanBookMe: as a Connected calendar account and as linked calendars. You can add as many calendar accounts as possible but you can’t pool the availability. To pool the availability, you have to use linked calendars. You have to link multiple calendars to the team booking page.
- Setting up availability: There are two ways to do this: repeating availability and custom availability.
- Repeating availability is straightforward. YCBM will look for availability in your connected calendar within the working hours that you set. Repeating availability is good to use when there is no change in the availability from week to week.
- Use Custom availability when your schedule varies widely each day or week or month. Custom availability is cumbersome because of YCBM’s dependence on external calendars. Here is what you do. Set the working hours in YouCanBookMe, which will mark those hours as Busy on the calendar. Then, you set Free the times you want to be open for bookings. YouCanBookMe matches the calendar availability. Custom availability is more a function of you calendar than YouCanBookMe.
- Services:In YCBM, you can create appointment types/services. This could be one-on-one or group sessions. In group sessions, you set a maximum limit for bookings per time slot.
- If you set up a tentative booking, YouCanBookMe takes off those slots from the booking page. It is displayed again only if the appointment request is rejected.
- YCBM does not take off the slots for those which have multiple bookings enabled.
- Notifications: YCBM sends email and SMS notifications on specific triggers: appointment booked; cancelled; rescheduled; completed. You can set up reminder emails also. The product allows email customization with text, short hand codes (variables like bookings start time) and links. You can customize SMSes with short hand codes. However, there is no html import for emails, and SMS credits are chargeable (not included in the subscription).
- You can set up the notifications through a visual workflow builder. It follows a multi-level, trigger and action, model.
- You can set separate notifications for tentative bookings.
- Booking page: People can book more than one service listed on a booking page simultaneously. They get booked in back-to-back time slots. YCBM automatically displays those slots which are back-to-back in such cases.
- A booking page is like a department. Each page can have its calendar, availability, services, working hours, language – time zone settings.
- Online meeting: YCBM has integrated with Zoom. However, it is in beta: the automated email will invite each participant to a separate one-on-one meeting.
YouCanBookMe review: The differentiating features
We liked how YCBM has a flowchart based workflow for notifications. It will be pretty easy to set up and understand when you are sending numerous automated emails. There will be at least 10 emails to go for any service. In addition to this, there will be SMSes and tentative booking emails. So, a flow chart is the best way to visualize it.
YouCanBookMe review: The niche features
- Booking dashboard – On the dashboard, admin can see bookings from all the booking pages or just those from a few filtered pages.
- Under each booking, you can see details tab which will allow you to accept/reject the booking if you have enabled tentative booking. Under the details tab, you can also rebook, reschedule and cancel the booking.
- You can export your booking data as an excel and use it for further processing or reporting. There are no inbuilt reports.
- Main Dashboard – There are ways to organize this further by creating folders for booking pages. I assume that since each service is a booking page, there could be customers who create numerous and therefore the need for folders. You can search and sort the bookings based on the title, domain, date and status.
- Payments – YCBM has integrated with Stripe. Customers can set up paid services and collect payments through Stripe.
YouCanBookMe doesn’t have mobile apps for iOS or Android.
The YouCanBook.me API can be used to manage all the details of your account and booking profiles, as well as direct manipulation of bookings and the following modules.
Ease of use
The product is straightforward to use. You will be ready to get booked in a few minutes.
What you will like the most is the left hand pane with the menus listed in the order of setting up a scheduler. Under each menu, there are sub menus. All these give the feel of a step-by-step journey from naming your booking page to sharing it for appointments.
The onboarding is smooth. It starts with the booking page. That is the right approach as you will know from the beginning what your result looks like. In the next steps you are adding elements to your booking page and connecting your calendars. They support Google, Microsoft, Fruux and CalDav calendars. Throughout the onboarding, and later the language is understandable and not technical. Ex. shorthand code. I appreciated this thinking from the customer’s POV.
Booking experience for customer
- Appearance: the booking page is spartan with the customers seeing a calendar-like layout. They can select the time slot, and complete the registration process. You can choose a color for the booking page and add a footer. Also, you can add more fields to the registration form depending on your requirement.
- User experience: You can set up notification and reminder emails and SMS notifications. The emails allow basic customization with a rich text editor and personalization using shorthand codes (booking variables like customer name).
Help and support
The product is self-explanatory. The onboarding is good. The help documents are useful. I did not face any difficulty in navigating the product or getting my first booking. Yes, it was an effort when YouCanBookMe is dependent on Google calendar and I have to learn Google Calendar in addition to YCBM. However, the help docs were helpful.
I had a couple of doubts which I asked to the support team and I got the reply in a day. From what I read, other users have also praised their support.
We did come across a few bugs on testing the app, which we duly reported to the team.
What is their pricing model?
YCBM charges for the number of linked calendars they check to decide your team’s availability. How does it translate for a user? If you are operating alone, you might be able to manage everything in one calendar. However, when you are operating as a team, it is hard to do with a single calendar. https://support.youcanbook.me/article/232-how-does-youcanbook-mes-pricing-work
Total cost of ownership
The total cost of ownership is the sum of YCBM’s subscription cost, cost of SMS credits and integrations.YouCanBookMe costs $10 per linked calendar. 100 SMS credits cost 7$. Customers can purchase from 50 credits. (there is a 30 percent discount for universities)
YouCanBookMe review : What will you get for FREE, for $10, for $50?
|Feature||Description||Free||$9 per linked calendar|
|Calendars||Calendar integrations||Google, O365||Google, O365|
|Integrate multiple calendar accounts||No||Yes|
|Calendar connections per user||1||1|
|Appointment types (offer a choice of durations and prices)||No||Yes|
|Take credit card payments||Yes||Yes|
|Fixed booking duration||Yes||Yes|
|Fixed start and end dates||No||Yes|
|Padding before and after a booking||No||Yes|
|Cancel and reschedule||Yes||Yes|
|Set a minimum or maximum advance notice for bookings||Yes||Yes|
|Multiple bookings per slot||No||Yes|
|Sharing||Unlimited booking pages||No||Yes|
|Embed the booking page||Yes||Yes|
|Upload your logo||Yes||Yes|
|Branding with custom colors||No||Yes|
|Robust time zone support||Yes||Yes|
|Configurable booking forms with unlimited questions||No||Yes|
|Personalized booking link||Yes||Yes|
|Redirect to a specific URL after booking||No||Yes|
|Add links to event confirmation pages||Yes||Yes|
|Notifications and reminders||SMS reminders||Yes||Yes|
|Email notifications to booker||Yes||Yes|
|Send your notification emails via your Gmail||Yes||Yes|
|Metrics and reporting||Yes||Yes|
YouCanBookMe review: How it compares to the segment leader
While the product meets my need, the cost of $10 per calendar makes me wonder if I should go for Calendly. $7 per calendar makes it an attractive option for educational institutes. Read youcanbookme vs Calendly review.
Summary of YouCanBookMe reviews found online
YouCanBookMe has positive reviews from people who are entering the world of meeting scheduling software. It has helped them overcome the hassles of manual scheduling.
The negative reviews are about their dependency on Google calendar for the ‘Custom Availability’ feature. I concur with that.
Though YCBM allows team scheduling, there are no staff log ins. No straightforward way to map a service to a staff. You have to set up a service calendar. Then, team members have to share their calendars with the service calendar.
There has been comments about certain ways of the software
- Like adding padding time/buffer time before and after a slot. The buffer time is usually added after a slot.
- The start and end times are parameters of the booking page. It should have been for services.
- I saw a comment from YCBM. They were asking the customer to edit the last minute booking time to accommodate a booking. The admin of the account should have the privileges to add appointments without adjusting the last minute booking time limit.
- I saw a mention on a review site about YCBM charging 1% as commission for every sale happening on their platform.
There are requests for a Customer module, better reporting, locations, customer portal, recurring appointments and payments, and likewise. However, those customers are searching for their product in the wrong segment. YCBM is a meeting scheduler and it is best for them to concentrate there than entering a space bordering salon management software.
YouCanBookMe review: Rating
While the product meets my need, the cost of $10 per calendar makes me wonder if I should go for Calendly. At the same time, $7 per calendar makes it an attractive option for educational institutes.
YouCanBookMe Long term review
Often, you will find that the product that you started using with full conviction is not the one you need now, after a few years. The reasons could be that it is not able to scale, or the total cost of ownership goes enormous, the support is bad, there are no updates.
Our long term review is a way to observe how a product and the company behind it behaved in the last one year. This is an important read if you are buying the product for a longer term. Read our long term review about youcanbookme